Re: tech writer bookshelf

Subject: Re: tech writer bookshelf
From: Elizabeth Ross <beth -at- vcubed -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 10:10:21 -0500

Michelle has some good points, but I disagree with her regarding grad
school. Graduate school tends to have an extremely academic focus on
technical writing which often doesn't mean diddly in the corporate world. If
you want to take classes to write better, I would recommend a continuing
education course in English composition. For myself, the Editor's
Association of Canada offers some excellent courses in editing and indexing
that have proved invaluable to my work.

I use the Chicago Manual of Style, although I hear the Sun book is excellent
as well. We also refer to NASA SP-7084 "Grammar, Punctuation, and
Capitalization: A Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors," available in
PDF format at

Other items on my bookshelf:
? Draft Standard for Software User Documentation - Software Standards
Committee of the IEEE Computer Society
? A Dictionary of Modern English Usage - H.W. Fowler
? Handbook of Technical Writing - Gerald J. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, &
Walter E. Oliu
? The Elements of Style - William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
? Copyediting: A Practical Guide - Karen Judd
? Words into Type, Third Edition

Next on my books wish list is "The Transitive Vampire" by Karen Elizabeth

I hope this helps. Cheers!
Elizabeth Ross
Senior Technical Writer, V3 Semiconductor Corp.
mailto: beth -at- vcubed -dot- com
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum.

> From: Michele Davis <michele -at- krautgrrl -dot- com>
> Organization:
> Reply-To: Michele Davis <michele -at- krautgrrl -dot- com>
> Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 13:16:25 -0600
> To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: tech writer bookshelf
> Well thank you Guy for your opinion. I disagree. I think the Art of Indexing
> is
> very good for any tech writers library. I also learned Java and Perl from the
> In
> a Nutshell series, but then again I already knew I had to learn them, I didn't
> need to know when or why. I was recommending them because they are my
> favorites
> in my library.
> My comment about CMS, I wouldn't bother. It's difficult to read, and
> completely
> unhelpful when you really need some nugget of information, as a new writer
> you're better off with Sun's book, or MS MOS. But what you should really do is
> analyze the products you own and their style of documentation for what
> standards
> are. If you're looking for books to teach you how to be a writer, or a better
> writer, Tufte isn't going to do that as he is more into the methodology of
> creating illustrations and graphics to help you present your information a
> certain way. The best bet to becoming a better writer is to write, and
> possibly
> go to grad school where people pick your writing apart. Tufte's books are
> visually appealing, but IMO aren't necessary to your library. And at around
> ~$50
> a pop, expensive to boot.

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